The Emeril Lagasse Foundation has donated more than $245,000 to the Dan Marino Foundation and its Hospitality program at Marino Campus from their Line, Vine and Dine events. The Dan Marino Foundation was excited to announce this support will continue with a grant in the amount of $15,000 to further its mission of preparing young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities for gainful employment, social growth, and independent living. This award is to be used for the Marino Student Café program held at Marino Campus in Fort Lauderdale. The Café provides a weekly opportunity for students to experience the full spectrum of the Hospitality Industry. With guidance from an industry expert, students are involved in every aspect of the Café. For example, students take inventory, prepare the shopping order, create menus, prepare food, take orders, and deliver food. A Point-of-Service system will be incorporated to allow for additional practice opportunities and exposure to an increased variety of careers. “The national employment rate for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities is 17%,” said Mary Partin, CEO of Dan Marino Foundation. “Thanks to programs like the Marino Café, made possible by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, this year’s Marino Campus student employment placement was at 72%.” To make this program successful, the Dan Marino Foundation collaborates with 20+ businesses and industry partners to offer in-person internships and procure employment opportunities for participants. Founded by Dan and Claire Marino shortly after their son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism in 1992, the Dan Marino Foundation has a long and distinguished history of life-changing programs and services, with the mission to “empower individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.” The Foundation has raised more than $87.5 million to create and support unique and impactful initiatives. Founded in 2002 by Chef Emeril Lagasse and his wife Alden, Emeril Lagasse Foundation is a 501c(3) public charity headquartered in New Orleans. The Foundation’s mission is to create opportunities to inspire, mentor, and enable youth to reach their full potential through culinary, nutrition, and arts education with a focus on life skills development. Since its inception, Emeril Lagasse Foundation has granted more than $15.5 million to children’s charities to support culinary, nutrition, and arts programs.